Special Report

All 27 Episodes of Black Mirror, Ranked from Worst to Best

Courtesy of Netflix

A long-awaited sixth season of the British speculative fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” dropped June 15th on Netflix. Modeled after “The Twilight Zone,” the series first aired in 2011 and 2012 on the British network Channel 4 before being picked up by Netflix.  (Here’s a list of the best international shows ever to stream on Netflix.) 

“Black Mirror” – the title refers to the black reflective surface of a smartphone, computer, or tablet screen when it’s not in use – uses each standalone episode to take some aspect of modern life to its extreme, exploring possible dystopian futures shaped by humanity’s obsession with social media, the advent of digital surveillance, and the dangers of current experimental technology. The often horrific outcomes are disturbing, yet sadly conceivable. For instance, the terrifying power of social media platforms permeates the series, with characters who lose their livelihoods, and even their lives, due to their online social standing or interactions – a scenario that is already all too real.

Multiple episodes deal with the possibility of our memories being recorded and replayed – possibly against our will. Another common element in the series is virtual or augmented reality, whether it is used for video games or to help soldiers find and eliminate targets. Ocular and cranial implants appear more than a few times, as do robots. (These are America’s favorite fictional robots.)

To determine the best episodes of Black Mirror, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience reception from IMDb. All 27 episodes of Black Mirror were ranked based on average user rating as of July 2023. In the case of a tie, episodes with more user ratings were ranked higher. Cast information is also from IMDb.

Click here to see all 27 episodes of Black Mirror, ranked from worst to best

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

27. Mazey Day (Season 6)
> IMDb user rating: 5.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 16,641
> Starring: Zazie Beetz, Clara Rugaard, Danny Ramirez

After an actor kills himself when photos of him and his secret gay lover are published in a magazine, the paparazzi who sold the photos quits her job out of remorse. But when she is offered a huge sum to capture images of an actress after an alleged hit-and-run, she finds herself in a moral tangle that is much larger than she could have imagined.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

26. Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (Season 5)
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10
> IMDb user votes: 39,313
> Starring: Miley Cyrus, Angourie Rice, Madison Davenport

Lonely teenager Rachel loves the pop star Ashley O – so much that she gets a doll named Ashley Too – a clone of Ashley O that has the pop star’s voice and rattles off empowering messages. Meanwhile, the real Ashley O is being drugged by her controlling agent so that she won’t ruin her image performing songs about how she really feels. When Ashley O falls into a coma, Ashley Too enlists Rachel and her family’s help to save her.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

25. Metalhead (Season 4)
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 39,229
> Starring: Maxine Peake

In a seemingly post-apocalyptic world, three renegades break into a warehouse, attempting to retrieve an item to help their dying comrade – but when a mechanical security dog kills two of them and imbeds a tracker in the only survivor, she must run for her life from an endless onslaught of invincible foes.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

24. The Waldo Moment (Season 2)
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 41,873
> Starring: Daniel Rigby, Chloe Pirrie, Jason Flemyng

Jamie is a failed comedian who plays the voice of Waldo, a cartoon bear who conducts prank interviews with politicians for a late night show. Disappointed with his life, Jamie is coerced by his producers into running for a political office as Waldo, and ends up going viral for ranting about how fake all of his competitors are – which makes Waldo more famous but hurts Jamie’s future prospects.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

23. Demon 79 (Season 6)
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10
> IMDb user votes: 13,588
> Starring: Anjana Vasan, Paapa Essiedu, Katherine Rose Morley

Set in 1979, this episode follows a department store clerk who faces racial discrimination from her colleagues. After inadvertently releasing a superfly disco demon from a talisman she finds in the store, she reluctantly joins the demon on a killing spree that he claims will save the world from a nuclear apocalypse.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

22. Striking Vipers (Season 5)
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10
> IMDb user votes: 43,019
> Starring: Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Beharie

When two old friends, Danny and Karl, play a virtual fighting game together, they end up using their avatars to engage in a sexual relationship. As their secret game life begins to affect Danny’s marriage, he and Karl try getting intimate in real life only to end up admitting they have no attraction in person, and getting into a physical fight instead.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

21. Loch Henry (Season 6)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 22,412
> Starring: Samuel Blenkin, Myha’la Herrold, Daniel Portman

When film students Davis and Pia visit Davis’s family in a small Scottish town to work on a nature documentary, they become intrigued by a local serial killer who tortured tourists and decide to work on a true crime documentary instead. But things get out of hand when they uncover secrets about the killer’s connection to the Davises.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

20. Crocodile (Season 4)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 41,274
> Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Andrew Gower

In a future where memories are not private and can be dredged by authorities, people who have committed crimes go through many steps to ensure that any witnesses are disposed of. When Rob and Mia accidentally strike a cyclist with their car, they throw his body into a lake – but when Rob feels remorse, Mia takes matters into her own hands to ensure she is never caught.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

19. Arkangel (Season 4)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 43,755
> Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding, Owen Teague

After briefly losing track of her three-year-old daughter, Sara, at a park, single mother Marie signs up for an experimental implanted child monitoring system that tracks her daughter’s location, visual field, and health via a tablet that has controls for filtering out stressful environmental factors. As she grows, a poorly adjusted Sara has never seen blood or adapted to stress, and her mother decides to stop using the tablet. But when Sara is 15 and begins lying about her whereabouts and seeing a boyfriend, Marie decides to track her once again.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

18. Beyond the Sea (Season 6)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb user votes: 21,808
> Starring: Aaron Paul, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara

Two astronauts in an alternate 1969, David and Cliff, are able to embody mechanical avatars to visit with their families on earth while their real bodies are on a six-year deep-space mission. When David’s family, including his avatar, is murdered by a cult, Cliff allows him to use his own avatar to visit earth – until David begins making advances on Cliff’s wife.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

17. Joan Is Awful (Season 6)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb user votes: 27,312
> Starring: Annie Murphy, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera

When a woman named Joan discovers that a streaming app has created a TV show based on her everyday life using real-time data from her personal devices, her lawyer tells her that she unfortunately consented to the process when she signed the app’s terms and conditions. In an attempt to gain control over her life, she decides to take her frustrations out on the star of the show: Salma Hayek.

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Source: Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

16. Smithereens (Season 5)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 38,891
> Starring: Andrew Scott, Damson Idris, Topher Grace

A rideshare driver spends his days picking up employees of the social media giant Smithereen, which is run by enlightened tech bro Billy Bauer. In his offtime, the driver attends group therapy, where he meets a woman whose daughter died by suicide, and watches her try in vain to crack her daughter’s Persona account password. Drowning in a society of technology addiction, the driver snaps and abducts a Smithereen intern, demanding to speak directly with CEO Billy Bauer and revealing his own story of guilt, pain, and addiction.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

15. Men Against Fire (Season 3)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 38,987
> Starring: Malachi Kirby, Madeline Brewer, Ariane Labed

A group of soldiers use reality-augmenting implants to help them find and kill “roaches,” dangerous vagrant humans who were mutated by a biological weapon from a previous war. When one soldier is struck by a device that causes his implant to glitch, he starts to see what the roaches actually are, and pieces together a wholly different backstory.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

14. The National Anthem (Season 1)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 59,027
> Starring: Rory Kinnear, Lindsay Duncan, Donald Sumpter

When a princess of the British royal family is kidnapped, the prime minister is the only one who can save her. Her captors instruct him to have intercourse with a pig on live television or the princess will be killed. As backup plans to fake the broadcast backfire, the prime minister has no option but to go through with it.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

13. Be Right Back (Season 2)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10
> IMDb user votes: 50,136
> Starring: Hayley Atwell, Domhnall Gleeson, Claire Keelan

When Martha’s boyfriend – and the father of her unborn child – is killed in a car accident, she reluctantly agrees to have an AI clone made from an amalgamation of his social media posts. She talks to the clone over email and the phone as she grieves his death, but when a physical android version of him shows up to live with her, it becomes clear that the clone is an inadequate replacement for the deceased.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

12. White Bear (Season 2)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10
> IMDb user votes: 50,677
> Starring: Lenora Crichlow, Michael Smiley, Tuppence Middleton

Victoria wakes up in a strange room with no recollection of how she got there. As she emerges outside, a crowd of people record her with their phones, but refuse to communicate with her. She eventually meets a renegade named Jem, who explains that most people are being brainwashed by a television signal, and enlists Victoria to help her reach a facility to destroy the signal. When they reach their destination, however, Victoria discovers the dark truth about her amnesia.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

11. Fifteen Million Merits (Season 1)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10
> IMDb user votes: 59,153
> Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Jessica Brown Findlay, Rupert Everett

In an indoor world where screens cover nearly every surface, slave-like inhabitants live in small cells and must power their own personalized entertainment screens by riding stationary bikes to earn “merits.” When Bing develops feelings for his neighbor Abi, he uses most of his merits to buy her a ticket to perform on a reality singing show in the vain hope of improving her lot in life.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

10. Playtest (Season 3)
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10
> IMDb user votes: 50,364
> Starring: Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, Wunmi Mosaku

Cooper is a freewheeling American, traveling around Europe and ignoring his mother’s phone calls as he avoids processing his father’s death. Realizing he doesn’t have enough money to return home, he takes a job at an augmented reality video game company, while using his phone to secretly document what goes on inside. As Cooper tests a game that uses his own deepest fears to create a virtual horror world around him, reality starts to blur.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

9. USS Callister (Season 4)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 56,479
> Starring: Jesse Plemons, Cristin Milioti, Jimmi Simpson

Robert Daly, the meek and poorly treated co-owner of a gaming company, finds a way to live out his fantasies after work by developing a private version of his company’s virtual multiplayer game and creating a world in which he is in charge of a space fleet. As his new real-life coworker finds herself in his game, the rest of the crew explain that they are all clones that Daly has created by secretly collecting their DNA…and they are stuck in the game for eternity.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

8. Nosedive (Season 3)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 60,471
> Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve, Cherry Jones

In a world where every interpersonal interaction is rated, social media can drastically affect not only one’s social status but one’s economic status. Lacie, rated a 4.2, is trying to increase her standing in order to move into a posh estate, but one unfortunate interaction after another begets a series of poor scores that lands her in increasingly desperate circumstances.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

7. Shut Up and Dance (Season 3)
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10
> IMDb user votes: 53,168
> Starring: Alex Lawther, Jerome Flynn, Susannah Doyle

Kenny, a teenage victim of a sextortion con, is blackmailed into completing a series of criminal tasks at the direction of a hacker who has threatened to release an illicit video of him. On the way, he meets other blackmail victims who admit why they are being conned, and they work together to avoid the consequences that may be coming to them.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

6. Hated in the Nation (Season 3)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 45,032
> Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay, Benedict Wong

As bees near extinction, autonomous drone insects (ADIs) are released to replace them. When some ADIs begin to go rogue and embed themselves in people’s brains, causing madness, agonizing pain, and ultimately death, a detective and her new partner realize that the victims have all been the target of a viral Twitter hashtag that is part of a game where people can vote to kill hated public figures on social media.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

5. The Entire History of You (Season 1)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 60,809
> Starring: Toby Kebbell, Jodie Whittaker, Tom Cullen

In a world where sub-ear implants record every waking experience, people obsess over their memories and re-play them for friends. Liam, who is struggling to come to terms with his wife Ffion’s friendship with her ex, eventually confronts the ex and forces him to reveal and delete all of his memories of Ffion. In the process, however, Liam discovers much more than he wanted to know.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

4. San Junipero (Season 3)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 63,240
> Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis, Denise Burse

Set in 1987, a shy young woman named Yorkie meets a beautiful party girl named Kelly in a vacation town called San Junipero. After some hesitance, Yorkie hooks up with Kelly, only to reveal afterward that it was her first sexual encounter. Kelly disappears and Yorkie travels through time to seek her in different eras, finally finding her in 2002, when they each reveal who they really are and why they are in San Junipero.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

3. Black Museum (Season 4)
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 46,952
> Starring: Douglas Hodge, Letitia Wright, Daniel Lapaine

A young woman visits a macabre museum that holds a series of criminal artifacts. The proprietor, a disgraced medical researcher, tells the story of each exhibit, all of which involve the transference of consciousness between two people, or from a person into an inanimate object. The main attraction is a man who died by electric chair but signed away rights to his consciousness, and is now electrocuted over and over by museum visitors.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

2. Hang the DJ (Season 4)
> IMDb user rating: 8.7/10
> IMDb user votes: 56,693
> Starring: Georgina Campbell, Joe Cole, Gina Bramhill

An electronic dating device called Coach sets people up in a series of fixed-length relationships in order to determine their compatibility with other subjects, eventually settling at a permanent partner with 99.8% success rate. Frank and Amy have dated each other twice and fail to enjoy their subsequent pairings. On the eve of their permanent assignments to other people, Amy schemes about how to bypass the system.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

1. White Christmas (Season 2)
> IMDb user rating: 9.1/10
> IMDb user votes: 63,955
> Starring: Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall, Oona Chaplin

Matt and Joe, two housemates in a remote, snowy outpost get to know each other while Matt prepares Christmas dinner. Matt speaks of illegally moonlighting as a dating coach to men who secretly recorded their dates through an ocular implant…until he witnessed a client being murdered. As he explains his even more twisted day job, Matt pushes Joe to tell his own story – which is darker than he may have imagined.

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